Suck it Up. Push Through. Don’t Complain.

This is the mantra I’ve lived by most of my life. I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing. It has enabled me to accomplish many things I’m proud of. My ex-boyfriend used to tell me “you always come through in the end…that’s your way.” It feels good to know I can be counted on.

The problem lies in taking it too far. In moderation it works. It’s when I take it to the extreme that it becomes harmful. To my health. To my relationships. To my sanity. So the irony of my post about learning to unplug is that I didn’t really learn a damn thing.

Sadly it took several more months of pushing myself, working long hours and finally enduring daily physical pain, headaches, and exhaustion for me to make a change. After a particularly difficult weekend where I literally did not leave my couch, I decided to see a doctor. I had been reading “Tired of Being Tired” by Dr. Jesse Lynn Hanley and I had gotten to the point where I feared if I didn’t do something soon, I would either be bed-ridden or hospitalized. It was that serious. The doctor confirmed I have adrenal fatigue.

It’s not surprising. I’ve been going non-stop for about three years now. And if I’m completely honest with myself, I have not been feeling well for at least the last year. I attributed my lack of motivation and energy to many things, but not to actually being sick. I kept kicking myself for procrastinating, being lazy, sleeping or watching TV instead of doing all the things I say are important to me. And all this just made me feel lousy. What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I get my act together?

I think the expectation on women to ‘do it all’ and do it well and with a smile on your face and while looking beautiful is something we all struggle with. We believe we should be able to pull off the impossible and when we fail (and we often do), we berate ourselves for not being enough.

Many days I feel tired. Really tired. Completely unmotivated. I push through the workweek vowing to get to my personal to do list over the weekend. Then the weekend comes and I don’t want to do any of those things. And I feel guilty. I should clean my house. I need to get caught up on my coaching course. I should work harder at finding a new job. Sometimes I force myself. We all know how great that feels. Not.

I have bought into the societal stigma of needing to prove my worth. If I just ‘do’ enough, I’ll be ‘good’ enough. I kept pushing myself to prove something to other people who probably wish they could slow down too. You know what I’m talking about.

But what if I’m already good enough–without doing a damn thing? What if we all are? No matter how hard I work, or how much I get done, there’s no merit badge I’m going to earn that proves I’m enough. As my friends have often told me, the ‘S’ in my name doesn’t stand for SuperWoman. There’s nothing for me to do. So I’m learning to listen to my body. To rest when I need to. And not give in to the voice in my head that says I’m being lazy.

Jeanette Maw nailed it in her blog post, The Art of Not Getting It Done. She said, ‎”When the world wants more from you than you care to deliver, know that overextending yourself doesn’t do anyone any favors.” Breathe that in. Let it sink into your soul. And then…go take a nap!